Thursday, December 20, 2001

It's been a month since I have posted anything in this weblog. I do apologize, but enough of all of that already. I have a hot tip for you. DO NOT GO SEE "VANILLA SKY". I don't know what Tom Cruise is going through, but that movie was utterly pathetic. The flashing back and forth and confusing scenes had my head hurting by the 30 minute mark in this movie. It was entirely too long, the plot was stupid, and the use of a character in the very end to try and sort out the confusing drivel was insulting. I suppose it was my fault for not reading a review from a reputable film critic, but the trailers I have seen for it made it seem as if it were a suspense thriller. I had no idea it was a Stanley Kubrick-Clockwork Orange-I didn't get enough LSD in the sixties type affair. Luckily I went to see this piece of garbage at the three dollar movie. All I could think about on the drive home was, "My wife and I get precious little time alone with one another, and I just wasted two hours and ten minutes.".....I should have gone to Blockbuster.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Well, by the date of this post you can see how attentive I have been to my weblog. Unfortunately my journal at home has much greater cause for protest. I decided to post this message today because everyone else thinks that this should be a special day. Today when I woke up, my twenty-something phase of my life was behind me. November 29th, 1971 to November 29th, 2001, exactly 30 years ago today I was born into this world, and it has been one hell of a ride ever since. I suppose many people, (women for the most part), look at turning 30 with the resolute drudgery that they are OLD, I don't mean older....I mean OLD. I suppose this realization deals with the idea that there are certain dreams, goals, and aspirations that will never come to fruition because you are just too rotten OLD! Well, I suppose that is the case, but I am so happy with my life it really doesn't matter to me. I consider my life to be a journey, and I proceeded on this journey with the realization that I was not ever going back to the starting point. So, there is no such thing as a wrong turn, because there will always be another way back onto the expressway. I woke up this morning about 6:00 a.m., showered, shaved, dressed, and got the boys up and dressed as well. I fixed a little something to eat and woke Renee up about 7:00. She woke up with a smile and wished me a Happy Birthday and 15 minutes later I was on the road to drop the boys off at Daycare and School. By 7:50 I was at my desk going over the notes I have made thus far on the beta test of the new software we are trying. Sandra, the lady from the cubicle across from mine wished me a Happy Birthday, and I got a call from my oldest sister. I suppose the magic of birthdays is the greatest as a child, I don't feel indifferent, but I consider it to not only be a tribute to the anniversary of my birth, but a reason to look back at what has happened since my last birthday, and measure the substance of its growth. A lot has happened between 29 and 30 that I am very grateful for. I am a child-of-God, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a friend, a frat brother, a cousin, a co-worker, and a helper. So I feel good today, not because today is my birthday, but simply because today is a good day for a multitude of reasons. No need to wish me a happy Birthday.....I feel great because today is my birthday, and I already AM happy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Everyone falls prey to the stresses and pains of everyday life. Even the simplest of situations can spawn into a bog of trouble and despair. What really adds to this fact is when we inevitably say, "Woe is me; nobody understands me; what did I do to deserve this; why am I being treated this way?" I think the id demands that we soothe ourselves by casting the shadow of blame for our dilemna wholly upon someone else. When more than one person attempts to do this in a certain situation it goes without saying that stress is inevitable. I had a variety of things stressing me yesterday before I went to my RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) class. It felt good to get my mind off of things and talk about the methods and intentions of Christ while he was here on earth. While we did not address any of the issues that were gnawing at the pit of my stomach I somehow felt relieved. I am not sure why, but whether or not I am able to solve all of the problems that bother me, or whether they will remain I know that I am strong in one area that matters. Peripheral matters can't sway me away from the "big picture". I suppose that the best thing that I can do is to just keep living life the way that I am living it now, and not let myself fall into the habit of being ready to jump into a defensive posture. When you are on the defense you keep everything away and sometimes allow the precious gifts to slip through your grasp.

Monday, October 29, 2001

Three possibilities.....People understand you.....People can't understand you......people WON't understand you.......any questions? I have many.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

September 11th, 2001

A day that will ALSO live in infamy

A prayer for the valiant:......................Many citizens of the United State who enjoy the freedoms and liberties that are only available within our borders are shocked by what they have seen. A little over 10 years ago a 19 year old returned from the Persian Gulf, he had maneuvered with a unit that saw action in Iraq, and helped with the massive cleanup in Kuwait...smoke-filled skies, miles of highway littered with dead bodies, and the simultaneous desperation and joy of a newly liberated people. The Kuwaitis had been robbed, kidnapped, raped, shot, hung, tortured, and exploited by the Iraquis....they knew then what many of us are jus seeing now....Terror. That 19 year old thanked God for allowing him to return home safely to his loved ones, and to a place that he though was free of Terror. A little over 10 years later he types this message out to you with the realization that Terror is everywhere, how it is dealt with makes all of the difference in the world. We talk about racial issues, socioeconomic issues, regional issues, and religous issues, we talk about all of the issues that divide us as a nation, we laugh and scoff at the President and our Congressional Leaders without the realization that in one way, we are all the same. We are all Americans, and thoug things are far from perfect, and injustice is pervasive, nowhere else would we ahve the ability to WORK toward the ideals we believe in. So let us take this time to pull together and pray for our President to guide us with the wisdom, and to pray for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines that are prepared to give their lives in defense of out nation and our ideals.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Okay, a brief synopsis of my life from my last posting to this message.....I am happily married now....unbelievable! The wedding ceremony, though I had my misgivings about the amount of money that we spent, was absolutely beautiful. It made everything well worth the financial stress. I was looking about the church trying to see how many people showed up as they RSVP'ed, and how many "gate-crashers" were there. I saw all of my Groomsmen enter the church, and I had to note how absolutely beautiful my sisters looked upon entering the church. It was really something was just unbelievable. I was looking over at my parents, and some of my friends who were sitting to my left, and I heard Renee's cousin start singing "You and I" by Stevie Wonder. I looked up, and that is when I saw Renee entering the church. To make a long story short I punked out.....LOL! The tears came up so quickly that I couldn't control them. It wasn't that I was nervous or scared or anything like that, I had just never seen her looking so was simply amazing. Renee was crying as she entered the church and seeing her emotional made it that much more difficult for me to keep a handle on things. The Ceremony was a blur, it is hard for me to specifically recall any certain event aside from when Karen sang her solo.....the tears came one more time....And then finally Father Norman said those words that I had been waiting a lifetime to hear. "You may kiss the bride." I tell you I kissed her and I felt the simultaneous thrill, and relief of kissing my brand new wife......The feeling was inexplicable. Then came the end of the ceremony, the presentation of the bride and groom, about one hundred thousand pictures, and then the reception. Renee and I danced the night away, did all of the obligatory wedding reception chores such as tossing out the garter and the bouquet, and before we knew it, it was time to retire for the night. We had the Honeymoon Suite reserved in the hotel, and it was so very comfortable. I am not trying to go into intimate detail, but there is no feeling in the world like being alone with your brand new wife for the very first time. I just can't describe the feeling. We spent the night in the hotel, woke up and had a joint-family breakfast and went back to our house for the gift opening. Later that day we drove to Louisville and had dinner at a Restaurant called "Ruth's Chris".....pricey no doubt...but sooooooo good. We checked into a hotel in Louisville and passed out for the night.....we woke up about 4:30 the next morning and caught a flight to Atlanta in preparation for our international flight to Jamaica........I just could not wait to get to the tropics.

Thursday, July 26, 2001

Well, we are down to the single digit days now. The time has still been crawling by for the last three weeks. I am soooooo tired of the right-before-the-wedding details. I just want to hurry up and fast forward to the ceremony and the honeymoon. There seems to be 1001 last minute things that need to be done. Well, something else has come up so I have to finish this post later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

A clock that counts down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until my wedding ceremony begins: This is the image that greets me when I enter the main part of my website. Nevertheless, I have not felt the uneasiness, anxiety, or uncertainty about a day as momentous as this. I am inexplicably calm at the present point, and to be quite frank the only feelings I have are of eagerness to be done with the wedding ceremony and start my new life. I am soooooo tired of people saying, "Well, you only have two or three weeks left, are ya nervous? Ya got cold feet? You aren't having second thoughts are ya?" One of my former co-workers--he is such an ass--emailed me and asked if I was going to go out with a "bang", like he did, at my bachelor party. I told him that it would not be that type of party. Kind of makes me wonder what some people get married for in the first place. I really don't look at the marriage ceremony and gesture as what I am "giving up", or even as a "loss of freedom". To tell the truth, I am looking at all of the gains to be made from this union. Aside from the obvious joy of a wedding celebration, I am also looking forward to seeing old friends. My number one partner when I was in the Army, Kalvin J. Williams(Will) is coming in town and I cannot wait. It has been almost ten years since I have laid eyes on him. Will and I did so much together, I really learned a lot about life from him though we were the same age. He is coming in town this Thursday, and I have to tell you that I can't wait to see him, to catch up, to reminisce, to find out about what he has been doing. He is working as a Civil Engineer in Houston Texas now. He graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, and is currently writing books of poetry. Renee has been doing surprisingly well, even though we have had a few bumps in the road in regard to plans. I hope she doesn't think that I am not happy about the prospect of being married, but honestly I think the Groom experience during the wedding celebration is a lot different than that of the Brides's. Truthfully, it IS their day, and the Groom is just an accessory. Renee is so excited, and she bursts into a falsettic squeal as she tells me about the Bridesmaid dresses and shoes that have come in, swatches of fabric, flower arrangements, and Thank you cards, and RSVP's and what-not. In all actuality most of the men that I know who are married, or about to be married did not accompany their brides-to-be on many of these trips for registering, and selecting patterns, and appropriate invitations and so forth. I did so, not with any resentment, but just out of curiosity at first, and then a sense of support for Renee. But, I do have to admit, that lately I have dreaded any mention of Garden-Ridge or Hallmark. As you can tell by the rest of my website I am a pretty sensitive guy. My frat brothers laugh and call me Ralph Tresvant sometimes, but I would much rather explore the shelves of a store like Circuit City or Footlocker than one that dabbles in Chiffon, Lace, or Sconces. It takes a whole lot for me to lose my patience, composure, and helpful attitude, but once it is gone I can be a little bratty ass....I wholeheartedly admit it. The other day, we got off work and I had hoped to go to the Y to work out, but we had to go measure the church for some type of cloth that Renee wants to string along the pews. After going to sears to buy a tape measure, and then taking the measurements at church, we headed to the car, and Renee smiled that lovely excited smile of hers, and said. "Now we can go to the store and look at fabrics to choose from." Without having time to stifle myself I uttered an audible sigh of displeasure. Renee looked at me, and I could tell she was hurt, (wanted to kick my ass), and said, "Oh babe, don't be like that, don't look so disapointed". If I could have taken back the big sigh and the look, I would have, but I couldn't. Fortunately it did not define my or her demeanor for the rest of the day. After we left there we went to Applebees and had some wings and some drinks. I sat and reflected while we were watching the monitors and chatting. Everything will not always be as hectic as what it is now....sometimes it will be even more hectic, but the common denominator in every situation is that we will be there for one another. I will always be there for Renee........even in the perfume and lace store....LOL!

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Ho hummmmmmm.....well, I have been mournfully neglectful in keeping my on-line journal, but I have been very responsible about keeping my thoughts annotated in my hardback version. It has been a couple of weeks since I committed anything to my journal, and unfortunately I have some bad news....Renee's grandmother, "Mamoo", passed on the 4th of July. Boy oh boy. Though she is no longer suffering I am going to miss her a great deal. In the two years that Renee and I have been together I have grown quite fond of every member of her family, even Randall whom I have to spar with in some form or fashion every time we see one another. The family is holding together well, but there is a noticeable difference now that the "rock" is gone. Though Mamoo was suffering from dymensia, and her health was failing she still retained every part of the dignity that defined her. Out of everyone in the family I feel the most sympathy for Mr. Paul. He and Mamoo were married for over sixty-five years. Can you imagine that? He has retained his composure and has only allowed us to see him shed a few tears. But, I can see what lies behind that friendly smile and those ever analyzing gray eyes of his. Complete sadness.......I think about the life that he and Mamoo carved out and I wonder how things are going to be when Renee and I hit that point in our lives. Lord, I could not imagine having to watch as she breathed her last breath. I definitely would not want to be the one that remained. There are roughly 25 days until I get married...I installed a countdown clock on my webpage that will count down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until Renee and I exchange our wedding vows. Boy oh boy how time has flown. As of yet, I have not felt the predicable twinges of nervousness or doubt. On the contrary, I am getting more and more excited by the moment at the prospect of beginning mh new life. Well, that is all for now, perhaps I will have time to include more information about my life later on in the day.....

Monday, June 25, 2001

Okay, disregard the previous melancholy self-defeated post dated 6/20/01. Everything worked out perfectly and we are on our way. I spent a quiet weekend with Renee, and I felt so energized when I woke up to head to work today. Everything is going well at this point I have just a few weeks before I get married. I have been waiting for this day my entire life. Many people think of a wedding being a woman's day, and to a certain extent it is. It is a day when a woman feels the most beautiful, regal, sophisticated, and enchanting. I suppose that is because of all of the traditional pomp and circumstance that everyone likes to be a part of. But, though I want to bask in the revelry of the day, of the hour, of the moment. I am looking at my life taking a new course. Renee will be the woman that I will share everything with, have children with, laugh with, cry with, get old with, and die with. While the concept it is fascinating and somewhat storybook, it is scary. Not scary in the sense that my life, my productivity, or my potential is limited by this union. Not in the least. But rather, it is scary when I think of the enormity of the situation, and the depth of the responsibility that I am taking on. Not just being a husband, but alson being a Father of two. Wow, I have always wanted to be in this situation, and I wouldn't change a thing about how things have gone to date. The terrible events that befell me in earlier days didn't seem to make much sense, and I was always asking myself and God why things were the way they were. But, I see that all of the trials and tribulations were merely preparation so that I my truly recognize and acknowledge the tremendous gift that God has bestowed upon me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Things have been going spectacularly well as of late, but yet there is another hangup. I am not going to lose faith, but I am going to keep looking up to the sky. I am going to keep praying on this one and hopefully things will turn out.......things may not come easy, but things will come.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001

Well it has been a long time since I wrote anything in this weblog....I attempted to about 3 weeks ago, and actually I wrote a lot, but the server crashed and I was not about to write that much again. Well, things are going amazingly well for me here in lil ole Kentucky. My lady and I are getting married in less than 2 months, she got a new job and a pay raise, the boys are doing well, its summer time, and we have been getting along superbly. How could things get any better? I got a NEW JOB! I was picked to work in the Governor's Office of Technology as a Resource Management Analyst II. What exactly a Resource Management Analyst II does in comparison to a Resource Management Analyst I I don't know.....hell....I don't even know what I am going to be doing. All I know is that I will be making sure that a software program runs smoothly that handles accounts payable and receivable, and keeps up with comp time. I am a little nervous as I have no formal computer training, but I do have a fascination with computers, software, and technology that is boundless. When I got word of the job I was ready for salary arbitration and what not, but it did not go as I expected it to. I came up with a figure that was approximately 10% more than what I make now. The guy dismissed that figure and gave me the number that he was GOING to pay me....about 22% more than what I make now. I tried to maintain the poker face, but I know my expression looked just like "Shaggy" off of Scooby Doo when he says, "ZOIKS!" So, all is well. My family is doing well, Carolyn just got back from Germany yesterday, Neekie is doing fine like she always does, and I can't complain about much of anything. Oh could I forget...Robbie is calling me "Daddy" now. Isn't that the coolest/scariest thing that you have ever heard? I was more than met with a little hesitation on the part of his biological, but all of that is straightened out now. I am so happy, yet I am concerned about how I carry myself around him and his brother. I remember being the little guy that wanted to emulate everything that I saw "Daddy" doing. I just want to be a positive role model.....well, 2 months and I will be a married man....I cannot wait.

Monday, February 19, 2001

Well, things this weekend went very well....I didn't get all of the rest that I had hoped to, but luckily I did enjoy myself....I did manage about 3 hours of time with just me and Renee. We went to see Chris Rock's "Down to Earth", it wasn't the fun-themed comedy that I expected. It was very funny, but most of the entertainment came from the numerous stand-up comedy scenes that were showcased. Chris Rock is a very talented comedian, but, I think that he ought to look at some of the movie roles that he accepts with a little more care. Oh well hopefully sometime this week we will be able to go see Hannibal. I read the book and completely loved it. We shall see how the movie measures up. I already heard that the ending was not the same as what it was in the book. Jodie Foster is not starring in it, but as long as Anthony Hopkins remains I am more than happy. Well, the Legislature goes in at 4:00 today, so I will undoubtedly have a long, long, day at work. Well wish me luck, keep me in your prayers, and always stay positive!


Friday, February 16, 2001

Things are cranking up to a fever pitch at work...Friday and Monday are going to be the worst days. I have a whole stack of regs...a draft to finish by close of business, an information request, and two meetings to attend today. With that being said, let me get on it!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Well, work continues to wear upon me. I am still trying to solve my money problems, but I do have a roof over my head, food on the table, and clothes to wear, so in that regard I am blessed. I am always looking for more though. My thoughts aren't singing out to me like they usually do in the morning, so I may have to come back later after I have something to eat and time to get settled in to my desk.

Saturday, February 10, 2001

There is no consolation in hypocrisy or philosophy, so invariably you are best to stay true to yourself. When contention rares its ugly head, it is best to handle it as you would anything else. Stay true to your personality, and don't ever think that you should practice what you preach, because preaching entails a great deal of responsibility. Also, never make promises that you cannot keep. I always pride myself with saying that, but, ultimately it is better to not make promises, but to create big outcomes. I have reevaluated how I handle the stresses of work and other things in my life, and I think that it is best to stay true to my instincts and I think I will remain on the straight path. I have come to this resolution after talking with my father about a great many decisions that I have to make in regard to the rest of my life. Now that I am precariously balanced on the fine line between twenty-something and thirty-something I realize that time is no longer my ally. There are a great many things that I feel I need to concentrate on in order to make my life the best it can be. These high ideals and lofty attempts are not merely for me, but for my life with Renee, Devon, Robbie, and any future children that we may have. I am putting much more faith in the Lord, and I am going to desperately try not to be so down on myself when things do not work out to my expectations. That is all for now.

Monday, February 05, 2001

Another weekend has come and gone, and I am poised to begin working my 5th Legislative Session, and I really don't want to be here...I am mournfully unhappy at the moment. I really want to take my life a different direction. The reality of life is really setting in, and there are a great many things that I wish that I had done differently. The longer I stay on this course at LRC the harder it will be to break away. I never wanted to become dependant on any vocation, but apparently that has happened. I suppose being nearly 30 years of age, the ability to pick up and switch gears becomes harder and harder. I am very happy with my relationship, but, it is because of my present relationship and all of the responsibility that I have now that I am taking more of an introspective look at the current state of my life. I have been blessed in a great many ways, but I don't think that I have truly blossomed yet. Any day now I suppose. I can just wait and see....this morning I showed up at Renee's office and brought her a cappuccino and a few Danishes from Magee's Bakery. Just to see her sitting there with that smile on her face and chatting with her made me think so much more of what I need to be doing in life. It wasn't that I wasn't interested in what Renee had to say, but just looking at her had my mind wandering to a multitude of faraway places. I thought about all that she means to relationship with the boys, and where I will be this time next year. I suppose there is some reason besides relationship and finances that has me doing so much soul searching as of late. This weekend Renee and I went out to dinner and while we were there we discussed the prospect of having a child. Renee was all for am I .....there is nothing that I want more than to have a child with Renee, but, I am very nervous about my health. To me, they have not been very forthcoming about this supposed "Desert Storm Sickness". I know there was a National Guard Unit over there that had many medical problems, and many of their children that were conceived after returning had a variety of health problems. Having a special needs child would not be something that I would be afraid of. I consider any child to be a gift from God, but the idea that "I" am to blame for a child's impaired mental and/or physical condition would be a heavy blow to take. I suppose the only thing to do would be to leave my prayers and my fears in God's hands......I suppose that is where everything belongs.

Friday, February 02, 2001

Well, today is Friday, yet another week has come and gone....I do have to work tonight, but thankfully enough I do have Saturday off. I don't know how much free time I will have, because I have a lot of things that I want to get accomplished. I really do want to get the house into better shape, and put all of the boxes of Christmas ornaments and what not into storage. I will probably do that early on Saturday morning....I can't wait to see Devon's basketball game...I have had to miss the last two in a row. The job at Elder-Beerman is really starting to get on my nerves although it is much easier now that Christmas season is over. Renee has put in her two weeks notice at the store, and I think that it may be for the best. Although the extra money helps no doubt it is still refreshing to be able to see one another at night. I am tired of working two jobs myself just to keep my head above water. Slowly but surely the sad financial state that I have put myself in is beginning to resolve itself. However, it is disheartening to not be able to pick up items for Renee and the boys when it comes to mind. My car is still running although the O2 sensor is still bad, but it is good enough for getting me from A to B in Frankfort. I have made a concerted effort to post into this weblog more often, but my writing in my journal has seriously declined....I am going to make sure and put something in tonight, or perhaps tomorrow morning. I hope that we have a chance to get out and do something this weekend...we shall see what it holds for us though. I will post again soon......that's all for now.....log off and go home.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Well, my mother called me this morning to tell me that my Uncle Clyde had passed away yesterday at around 7:00 p.m. It was kind of a tough blow to take early in the morning, but somehow there was a sense of relief. Poor Uncle Clyde had problems with his health for years and years. He was nearly 6'8", very handsome, and a very sharp dresser. I will really miss him, and I wish that I had been able to see him the last time I was in D.C. It was just a very few months ago that his oldest son, my cousin had succumbed to cancer. It is strange like that sometimes, how it seems like tragedy upon tragedy occurs. All in all my Mother's side of the family has been Uncle Grover passed away in 63' After that my Grandfather in 92', then my Cousin, now Uncle Clyde. From what I understand he mended some severed relationships before he passed, and that is such a blessing. To me, it was a very important lesson. I hope that I am never in a position where I am not in communication with those that I care about, and that care about me. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a second chance. That is why it is so important to tell everyone that is in your life exactly how much they meant to you, because tomorrow is never promised. Not much to say today, I am working out the rest of my schedule at Elder Beerman before I go to contingent status. I hope that perhaps when the legislative session is over I will not NEED to work part-time. There are so many things that I want to do with the Renee and the boys that I think are so very important. After all, they are my family....and strangely enough it seems as if they always have been. Well, there is more to come later.

Monday, January 22, 2001

Well, once again it is Monday morning, and I have a multitude of things to do....but right now I choose to reflect upon those things that I experienced this weekend. Renee and I went to our marriage preparation class together from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The day flew by because we were doing so many fun things. Most of the exercises were very revealing in the sense that I learned almost as much about myself as what I did about Renee. There were some things that I was nervous about going into in regard to conflict resolution because I always have this anxiety about arguing. But after the initial ice was broken I got a clearer understanding of Renee's point of view on a lot of things. There is no sense in embarking on the "how and why" of many things that we go through, but just to understand that they are there, things happen, but we need to accomodate one another as much as we can, and to live our lives solely for the purpose of bettering one another, and the people that are intimately associated with us. Mainly the boys, and our respective families and friends. Though I felt pretty good about the day, and some of the things that we covered I remained in a pensive mood. Renee and I decided to go to Barnes and Noble directly afterward to browse the publications and have some of that Godiva Hot Chocolate. I looked through some books on poetry and photography, and Renee looked at some books on the wedding. I had a good time, but I just really wanted to spend more time with her. We went home and had a few moments to ourselves before Randall and Tee came down. Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind them coming, and in all actuality I had looked forward to their arrival, but something at that class made me really take an introspective look at myself, my life, my career, my spirituality, and my position with my immediate family. That night Randall and I went to R&C's and I whooped him in quite a few games of pool. :-) (That is my game you know), and I had a chance to take my mind off of some of the things, but only for a moment. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I am not grateful for what I have, but I just want to see more reward for the things that I do. I want more money so I can do more for Renee and the boys. I want more money so I don't have to work two jobs to maintain. I want to spend free time with them, and be there for them if they need anything. I realize that hard work and time away is the sacrifice that we sometimes must make in order to achieve a better life down the road, but I also realize that my carefree ways in the past have also helped to put me into my present position. I shared these thoughts with Renee, and she was very supportive, and she just said that no matter what we had one another, and that is all that mattered. She was 100% correct...for some reason I felt like crying all day long, and I didn't know whether I was sad, happy, relieved or depressed for a long time. But when I look at it, it was a catharsis for me because I finally realized what I have needed to do, and where I need to be, has been painfully obvious for a long time, but to date I have just attended to matters at hand for the most part. And in a sense I have lived "Carpe Diem", that is fine and good for some things, but matters of the heart and soul need to be looked at thoroughly from all angles. In fact your long term goals should dictate your day to day only makes sense. I look at some of the issues that one of my Fraternity brothers is going through. Though he is intelligent, artistically gifted--and could have any style of life that he chooses if he would apply himself--I have met "living room furniture" that makes better thought out decisions in life. It is easy to look at the extreme things that he has done to himself, because of his "over-indulgent nature" and shake my head in dismay; but when we apply a little relative perspective, I too, have not made the maximum use of my upbringing, resources, and alloted time. I think I would be better served to do a little more work on myself before I comment on anybody else's lot in life. Lastly, I am looking at the prospect of converting from Evangelical Lutheranism to Catholicism, but I want to fully educate myself in both faiths before I make a decision. I think that it is highly important for me to not only be a true part of my new family in all ways, but to be a leader. I don't mean to lead in the sense that I am the sole decision-maker, and orchestrator of every move that we make as a family, but rather that I will be a leader by example, and the one thing that all leaders do whether it is in the military, the church, or politics is lead by example. Anything else points toward hypocrisy.

Friday, January 19, 2001

*sigh*...Just by the date of the entry you have an idea of how long it has been since I have been into my weblog. Things are going pretty well, though I just found out that an O2 sensor for my car will not be covered by the expensive extended warranty that I purchased. Therefore I will have to relinquish $327.00 if I ever want the Dodge, (which Renee has named Jody), to ever travel any faster than 50 miles per hour. So little time, so much work, so little money. That is my new saying for about everything in my life right now. I am very pleased however, to be attending a marriage retreat with Renee tomorrow. I suppose we will find out how compatible, or how compatible that other people perceive us to be on this retreat. We took a Meyers-Briggs'ish' type test called a FOCCUS test, and it basically asked the same basic question in a multitude of ways. I was fearful that perhaps we would have little in common by the way some of the anwers were annotated, but just like Renee always says, "I wouldn't want to marry someone that was like me.", Perhaps she is right. I wouldn't want to marry anyone like, me, as a matter of fact you would be hard pressed to find someone like me out there. I consider myself to be an Original, in a multitude of ways with both good and bad results. I wrote a poem the other day called, "I, Step-Dad" this was a poem that kind of evolved as a was listlessly doodling during hours and hours of endless testimony at a Committee Meeting. This poem made me aware of my true feelings for Devon and Robbie. After I wrote it, I reflected on how my relationship with Renee began, and how it evolved and blossomed, I was not aware that the same thing was happening with the boys as well. I really do love them with as much intensity and devotion as I love Renee. To me that pokes big holes in the idea or sayings that men have in relation to children that do not belong to them. Usually we hear someone say something like, "I have learned to love him", or "In time I may love him like my own son." That is completely alien to me. You don't "learn" to love your simply evolves, occurs, happens, originates, or any other word that you choose to use for that which happens without your efforts.

Be that as it may, I am still amazed at how things have progressed within the confines of a 15 month period. I am amazed, but yet not the least bit apprehensive. This seems like the most normal, natural if you prefer, process that I have ever embarked upon. This wasn't a case of it "being the right time", it was more like, "I finally found the one, and luckily I was ready." I think that it was divine intervention that prevented me from ever meeting Renee until the time that we did, because certain events, people, problems, and situations may have precluded us from ever coming together had we met any earlier. People say, "Things happen for a reason", and I wholeheartedly subscribe to this theory. The greatest thing that happened to me was my engagement to Renee, and the reason was that it was meant to be.